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Japanese kelp

Japanese Kelp image supplied courtesy of Parks Victoria  

A Parks Victoria Officer who is working to reduce marine pests informed AUSMEPA "One of the key pests we are currently dealing with is Undaria pinnatifida, Japanese Kelp is a big issue in Victoria and Tasmania. In the last year there has been a new outbreak in Apollo Bay harbour that we are trying to manage and avoid its spread to other areas along the Otway coast."

What it looks like

  • A golden brown seaweed with wide fronds grows between 0.5 and 3 metres in length
  • The frond is frilly at the base
  • It has a stripe up the middle of the wide frond.

Where it lives naturally

  • Japanese and Korean waters.


Where it has spread to

  • Victoria including Port Phillip Bay and Apolo Bay
  • Tasmania. 

How did it get to Australia

  • The microscopic floating stage arrived in ship ballast water.
  • Why is it a problem?
  • They can cover large areas and grow over and kill local seaweeds.

For more information about this species go to> Marine pests> Pest ID cards.


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